Published at 21st of November 2020 09:27:55 PM
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
It took half a day for them to reach the High Elf village Lilund .
Frey and Ivan looked at the huge tree that loomed in the distance .
“There was nothing there just a moment ago . ”
“It must’ve been hidden by barriers . ”
“That’s right . ”
Syax nodded, and Ivan stuck out his chin .
“So that’s the World Tree . It truly is big enough for that name . ”
“We call it Hruhiral . ”
“Hru…what?” (TL: my reaction exactly…sounded it out maybe five times)
“Hruhiral . ”
Ivan, who tried to pronounce this word a few times, soon gave up .
“So dirty . Pronouncing it a few times makes it feel like your tongue is being twisted . ”
“Because it is in Elvish . We have no problems saying it . ”
Syax stood before the entrance to the village .
There was a small fence around it, but it didn’t seem like they were put there to stop anything from entering .
However, there were two Elves standing there who appeared to be guards, both of whom were women . (TL: girl power?)
The one on the left approached .
“Syax? You came back sooner than I thought you would . ”
She spoke in Elvish .
Ivan clearly didn’t understand what she was saying, and Frey also pretended to not understand and stayed silent .
“It just happened, Pippin . Is everything okay here?”
“No problems . How’s the hunt for the necromancer?”
“…still progressing . ”
The Elf named Pippin glanced at Frey and Ivan .
“Those guys behind you…look like humans . ”
“I got some help while hunting the necromancer . They’re my partners . ”
Fortunately, she introduced them like Frey asked .
Her expression was a little stiff because of the lie, but Pippin did not doubt her words at all .
“Even so, is there a reason why you’re bringing the two of them into the town?”
“I was assigned a mission by the Queen . I have enough authority to bring these two outsiders into the village, Pippin . ”
“Of course I know that . ”
She shrugged .
“I’m not trying to pick a fight . I know you’re smart and experienced . ”
“Thanks . I’m sorry for being so aggressive . ” (TL: awww how wholesome)
“That’s fine . But you can’t keep these outsiders in the village for too long . You know that, don’t you?”
“Of course . ”
The two quickly finished their conversation, and Syax turned to Frey .
“It’s standard procedure for outsiders to greet the Queen . Kain…no Frey . Shall we go to Hruhiral first?”
“If that is the procedure, then of course we should follow it . ”
“I’m sleepy . ”
“It won’t take long . After this, you can rest your eyes on a soft bed . ”
“A soft bed . You know exactly what to say to convince me . ”
He then followed Syax together with Ivan .
This was the first time he’d entered the Great Forest .
That was because 4,000 years ago, he did not interact with the Elves very much; moreover, they completely closed the Great Forest off to outsiders .
That was why this was his first time seeing Hruhiral in person . The giant tree exuded a dignified aura that befits its name .
Also, the atmosphere of the village was peaceful and comfortable . It was very different from what he imagined a Dark Elf village would be like .
It was the same for humans who had different tendencies and dispositions depending on race, region and country .
It wasn’t very surprising .
“The Queen’s hall is in Hruhiral . It won’t take long, so please try to maintain a basic level of courtesy . ”
With those words, she shot an anxious gaze to Ivan, who snorted .
“I know you’ve mistaken me as a rude man . Because that’s how it appeared . But you shouldn’t be biased . ”
He glared at Frey .
“Are you worried too?”
“Not really . The Elven Queen is said to be a good person . The words nobility and elegance alone would not be enough to describe her . If you saw her with your own eyes, you probably wouldn’t be able to disrespect her even if you wanted to . ”
Syax looked at Frey in surprise because he appeared to know more about the Queen than she expected .
Besides, his relationship with Ivan was a bit strange .
‘At times they appear to be friends…at others, it’s like a mischievous, immature disciple and his teacher . ’
After a while, they arrived at Hruhiral .
When they looked up, even if they bent their neck’s 90 degrees, they would not be able to see the top .
Fortunately, the Queen didn’t stay at the top .
It was obvious that it would take a very long time to climb the tree that was much larger than any magic tower .
After climbing a set of natural stairs made from stems, they saw a huge space inside of the World Tree .
They couldn’t tell whether the space had been dug out, or if it appeared naturally, but even such a large space was no problem when considering the size of Hruhiral .
When they reached the top of the stairs, four High Elves fell from above .
Ivan’s eyes shined brightly at their soft landing that had no sound .
He felt that these Elves were Magic Warriors with considerable skill .
“Syax, who are those people behind you?”
The Elf at the front was the one who spoke .
There were only slight wrinkles on his face, but considering the lifespan of Elves, he was probably around 200 years in age .
“They are outsiders who are helping me hunt the necromancer . I think we will have to stay in the village for a short time because of that, so I brought them here to greet the Queen and get permission . ”
“…I see . ”
The Elf looked at them with a sharp gaze before speaking in the human language .
“Be mindful of your words and actions before the Queen, outsiders . ”
Frey nodded before looking at Ivan .
Ivan, who was about to say something smart, simply shrugged and kept his mouth closed when he saw Frey’s look .
As if to say that Frey knew what he wanted to do .
It was then .
Someone walked out from the Hruhiral .
After seeing them, Frey felt a bit surprised .
It was a group of Dark Elves with their signature dark skin and silver hair .
And wasn’t Camille one of the ones at the front of the group?
A middle aged man stared at him for a moment before saying something to the man beside Camille .
“I don’t know if this went well, Chief Reeves . ”
The man called Reeves spoke in a cold tone .
“I think it will all work out in the end . ”
“Hmm…that’s good to hear . I’m glad that you became the Chief of the Blacktooth Tribe . ”
“You are quite good with your honeyed words . Well, we’ll be taking our leave now . ”
Reeves turned his head to look at Frey’s group . While he simply stared at Frey, he sent a slightly fierce gaze toward Ivan . (TL: he’s just like liamson)
“…Are those outsiders? He seems to be very skilled . ”
“I don’t know what you’re saying, but I like your expression . Do you want to fight?”
“Patience . ”
Two voices overlapped .
They were the voices of Frey and an old Elf who stood beside Reeves .
The old Elf and Frey’s eyes met at that moment before they nodded at the same time .
Reeves restrained his desire before continuing on with hurried steps .
“Then I will leave some of the young people here . Camille, you choose . ”
“Yes, Chief . ”
“We will also send some young people . ”
After nodding his head, the Dark Elves left .
As she passed by, Camille met Frey’s eyes .
She tilted her head .
It wasn’t because she’d seen through Frey’s illusion . It was because she was wondering why this strange outsider was staring at her .
Frey soon dropped his gaze .
For now, he should focus on meeting the Queen .
* * *
The High Elf Queen stayed within the innermost parts of the World Tree .
The moment one entered, it was not too much to say that the noise of the world disappeared .
And this entity, who could easily grab everyone’s attention, sat on a throne woven from grass .
She had pure white hair that looked like fresh snow and pale skin that seemed to be even whiter .
Her two silver eyes shined like stars in the night sky .
Upon seeing her appearance, even Ivan was left speechless .
Compared to Syax, whose appearance could already be called extraordinary, her beauty was otherworldly .
She also exuded a divine presence which made it difficult to look straight at her .
Syax bowed her head .
The Queen seemed to be even more beautiful than she remembered .
And it would continue to be so .
Frey noticed another fact .
She had hardly any High Elf characteristics . Was she even a High Elf in the first place?
He couldn’t tell because her ears were hidden behind her shining halo of hair .
‘All the Elf Queens I’ve known have been High Elves . ’
He didn’t quite understand .
He had the feeling that she wasn’t a High Elf at all, and it was due to some circumstances that gave her such an appearance .
That seemed to be the likely case .
Anyway, it wasn’t something that he needed to worry about at the moment .
Her lips slowly parted .
“Syax . ”
Even her voice was beautiful .
It felt like the sweet whisper of a lover .
Ivan felt a chill run down his spine and swung his forearm for no reason .
Syax politely bowed once again .
“Anaryl’s first daughter, Syax, greets Your Majesty . ”
“You don’t need to greet me so politely, old friend . ”
“…I’m grateful for your favor . ”
There seemed to be a subtle change in the Queen’s expression at those words, but it disappeared faster than it appeared .
Her silver eyes then turned to Ivan and Frey .
“Can you tell me who the ones behind you are?”
“They are partners who have been helping me track down the necromancer . …Ivan, Frey, greet Her Majesty the Queen . ”
Ivan shook his head slightly, feeling like he’d go crazy if he kept looking at the Queen’s figure .
He was bothered because seeing the Queen caused something within him to stir uncontrollably .
As a result, his words got stuck before they could come out .
“Ivan . ”
Then he closed his eyes as if he had said everything he wanted to say .
He did it simply because he could not bear to look at the Queen any longer, but it was clear how such actions would be viewed by those around .
The face of an old Elf beside the queen became red .
Syax’s expression wasn’t much different .
“How dare you behav…”
“Gelpik, enough . ”
“But Your Majesty…”
“It’s impossible to impose Elven etiquette on humans, don’t you think?”
“…I apologize . ”
Gelpik bowed his head at the Queen, but he still looked at Ivan with fierce eyes .
He didn’t know why Ivan closed his eyes, but Frey clicked his tongue slightly .
The atmosphere had become tense .
The Queen, who had the highest authority, did not seem to mind what had happened much, but the Elders around her did not have good expressions .
‘The Elders’ words are only below the Queen’s . Nothing good will come from antagonizing them for no reason . ’
The Queen’s gaze turned to Frey .
Frey slowly bowed his head while saying .
“May the grace of the forest flow for an eternity and may the sunlight ever brighten the sky . My name is Frey, a Wizard from the Kastkau Empire, Your Majesty . ” (TL: uwu flowery speech is so hard ㅠㅠ)
“Hmm . ”
The Elder’s expressions improved greatly .
Some, including Syax, looked at Frey with astonishment .
The Queen looked at Frey with a strange gaze .
“Wizard Frey, you seem to be very familiar with Elven etiquette . It’s a bit old-fashioned but amazing nonetheless . ”
“I’ve had a few chances to make Elven friends . ”
Syax tilted her head at that .
It would be impossible for him to learn such an old-fashioned greeting from the Dark Elves as they never liked such things .
Did he have other Elven acquaintances as well?
“I am Snow De Predickwood . The Elven Queen . ”
At that moment, Ivan’s eyebrow twitched, and he opened one eye .
Frey, who was silent for a moment, bowed his head once more .
“…it is an honor to meet you, Your Majesty . ”
For Elves, middle names had a special meaning and could not be used by everyone .
‘De’ was a middle name that only those who sat on the throne as the Queen could receive .
But the thing that Frey and Ivan paid the most attention to was her last name .
‘Predickwood . ’
It was the same as Oydin .
They forcefully swallowed their surprise .
The Queen’s relative . Frey wondered if things could get any more complicated than they already were .
At the same time, he was extremely glad that he had decided not to reveal Oydin’s name to Syax . It was truly a divine move .
“It won’t be for a very long time, but I still hope that you can enjoy your stay comfortably . Syax, can you teach your companions the rules of our society?”
“Of course, Your Majesty . ”
Snow twitched slightly at that .
Frey and Syax bowed once again while Ivan simply turned around .
The Elders’ faces became ugly once again, but Ivan didn’t seem to care .
They followed Syax and left the Hruhiral .
After a while, they arrived before another tree .
Because it was the High Elves’ Village, every tree was quite large . This allowed the Elves to build their houses without damaging the trees .
Syax, who closed the door, looked around, and her eyes seemed to light up .
This was proof that she was angry .
“Ivan, you really…how could you be so rude to Her Majesty the Queen? Had it not been for Frey’s quick thinking, that could’ve gone very badly!”
Ivan, who rarely shut his mouth or backed down, sighed before saying,
“I’m sorry . ”
“It is entirely my fault . I failed to control myself . ”
This left Syax speechless for a moment as she had never expected him to lower his head and apologize .
She opened and closed her mouth a few times, not knowing what to say, before sighing .
“…you two can stay here while you’re in the town . ”
“You live alone?”
At Frey’s question, she nodded .
“That’s right . Is there a problem?”
Frey didn’t know what to say .
It would be considered very bold among humans for an unmarried single woman(1) to have two adult men alone with her in her home, but it seemed to be nothing special among Elves .
“I have to go out for a while . I have a few things to report whenever I come back to town after a while . I might not be able to come back before sunset, so please try not to leave the house . ”
“There is food in the master bedroom . See you . ”
After saying that, Syax left the house right away .
Frey and Ivan exchanged glances before heading to the bedroom .
And as they looked at the food on the wooden table, they were dumbfounded .
In short, it was a salad .
There wasn’t even any dressing .
You probably couldn’t taste anything but grass while eating it . (TL:…i’ve said something similar)
Ivan’s expression crumpled to the extent that it was barely discernible .
“This is goat food…”
Frey silently took some jerky from his bag and threw it at him .
This caused Ivan’s face to brighten immediately .
“Your preparations are quite thorough . ”
“It’s a bit tough, but that shouldn’t matter to a beast like you . ”
“Let me see . ”
Ivan smiled and bit into the jerky .
Then he stopped .
If anyone else had made such a joke, he would’ve smashed their head without hesitation, so why was he accepting it now?
Instead of eating the jerky, Frey began eating the food that Syax had prepared .
Vegetables without any dressing would only have their natural flavor .
Ivan shot him a strange look .
“How does it taste?”
“After a few bites, it has its own flavor . You should try it . ”
“No way . ”
[This job just became much more complicated . ]
Naturally, Frey said this using Telepathy .
He wasn’t trying to show off . If an Elf was concentrating, they would be able to hear a whisper even if it was hundreds of meters away .
Ivan replied casually while chewing on his jerky .
[Because Oydin is the Queen’s relative?]
[Right . If we don’t have any conclusive evidence, then we will get kicked out in an instant . ]
[So what are we going to do?]
[We’ll look for what Riki told me . ]
Ivan let out a surprised sound .
When Frey glared at him, he casually pinched his chin .
“Did you make this from whale meat? It’s so tough and tastes horrible . ”
[What did he say?]
[He only told me . ]
[And left me out? You guys already have such a close relationship huh . ]
Frey ignored Ivan’s words .
[He said that he needs a medium through which to contact the Apocalypse . In particular, he would need a powerful item which was able to send a signal outside this dense forest . ]
[He doesn’t know exactly what it is . It could be a bracelet or earrings, a small statue, or an ordinary looking stone . It could even be a tattoo on his body . ]
[That’s so vague . How will we find it?]
[Somehow . ]
Ivan felt like the instructions were vague, but Frey was just thinking that the task had become more complicated .
He felt like his head would explode while thinking about a way to expose Oydin’s identity as an Apostle and kill him .
It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible .
If they were able to kill an Apocalypse with just this bit of hard work then it would be more than worth it .
Naturally, it was something that would still be worth it even if they had to suffer 100 times more than this .
This was why Frey felt extremely fortunate to meet Riki at this point .
‘Although I can’t fully trust him . ’
However, he had yet to give up his doubts .
His bad relationship with Demigods had lasted far too long for him to be able to do that so easily .
Riki probably knew that .
One was suspicious, and the other one knew it .
Nevertheless, the two did not hesitate to work together . They were well aware that it was the only way to achieve their overlapping goals .
Of course, it was Riki’s ‘goals’ that made him more suspicious .
A Demigod, or more specifically, the Sword Apocalypse .
He was one of the five Demigods directly below Lord . What reason did he have to kill his own kind?
His thoughts had strayed .
Frey used Telepathy again .
[If he contacts Nozdog, it should release a trace of Divine Energy . You probably won’t be able to feel it from here, but I can . Then we can find out what the medium is . ]
[Hoh . I see . So we’ll just wait here until Oydin contacts the Demigod?]
[Right . ]
Was that it?
It was easier than he expected .
Ivan suddenly realised something and asked with a slightly perplexed expression .
[But what if he doesn’t contact them?]
[We’ll just have to give him the right amount of pressure to do it . He will be so anxious that he’ll have no choice but to contact the Demigod . ]
A smile stretched across Frey’s lips .
[I’ve finally thought of a good plan . ]
At that moment, Frey was thinking about Camille
His first goal would be to contact her .
Ivan sighed .
[I’ll be bored . There are no monsters around her for me to kill, so how will I pass the time?]
He shot a subtle gaze at Frey who shook his head firmly .
[I can’t as I’ll have business to deal with . ]
[Just a bit . Couldn’t you just spar with me a few times?]
[It’s important . I will think about it after our task is finished . ]
He didn’t know when he’d be able to enter the High Elf village again .
To be precise, he might never again get the opportunity to see the World Tree up close .
The World Tree Hruhiral .
There was something he wanted to test on the World Tree which had been around for more than 5,000 years .
If he could do what he was thinking…then he’d get a much bigger harvest than he expected .
1 . The word used here could also mean ‘virgin’…just thought I’d let you guys know . )